We know there’s no way to get enough of the beautiful music of Merja Soria, the Finnish “tradition-bearer” in our Nordic Christmas Revels. So whether you are able to come to see the show or not, here’s a chance delight in her artistry in a presentation that will go beyond the music presented in the show. With co-sponsorship by the Finlandia Foundation and Finn Spark, the national Finnish women’s association, Washington Revels will present a recital program of Merja’s Finnish folk music, coupled with poetry recitations (with written translations) by Seija Kaarina Cleverley.
A native of Finland now living in San Diego, Merja Soria was the very first Finlandia Foundation “Performer of the Year” in 1996. She received an MA in Music at the Sibelius Academy in Finland and has taught Finnish music at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
Seija Cleverley started reciting poetry as a young child. She studied under renowned Finnish recitation artists Eeva Kaarina Volanen, Laina Kalmari and Katariina Lievonen, competing for and winning prizes throughout Finland. She specializes in poetry from the Kalevala and Kanteletar, and poems by famous poets such as Eino Leino, P. Mustapää, Eeva Kilpi, and Aale Tyyni. She was runner-up for Finlandia Foundation’s “Performer of the Year.”